For those of you that may not know, James Edward "Ed" Wysznski, Jr. passed away on April 1, 2008.
Ed had been dealing with Multiple Sclerosis for the past few years, and knew he was entering his final lap. Recognizing the significance of this 40th anniversary, and wanting to see his friends one more time (Ed thought of all of us as his friends); he set out to contact people and to put things in motion for the reunion.
In spite of his personal pain he kept a positive attitude, and provided brotherly support to everyone working on the reunion. While I suspect that Ed knew he would not be there to share in the fruits of his labor, he worked tirelessly and looked forward to the possibility of seeing each of us again. He did not complain, nor publicly lament his circumstance. I however, deeply regret that Ed's passing came only a few days before we were to get together in person. Ed was driven by the desire to provide each of us an opportunity that he very much wanted for himself.
I would like to dedicate the reunion to the unselfish spirit that was Ed Wysznski.
Loyalty and friendship are among our most precious of possessions. They cannot be hoarded. They must be given. Steve gave them unconditionally. I was fortunate to be one of his many beneficiaries.
As a teen I was worried about being accepted, and trying to fit in, but I found harbor as a small part of a good friend's life. I watched him morph between impish provocateur, surrogate father, big brother, and then back again. This in a house full of more kids than I would dare count, but with more love than its seemingly small frame could contain.
As young men we went in different directions, reconnecting as opportunity allowed. At each meeting, Steve would morph again into the unquestioning friend he always was. It was as if that friendship was a trophy he had stored away, unblemished and protected, preserved for just that moment.
My life carried me further away, both in distance and preoccupation with the day to day. The reconnections became fewer, something I would tend to when I had more time, until one day I learned there was no more time.
I have often thought of Steve, and have recently heard stories from some of his other friends. Most recently I saw a note from one of his children. In it she said, "I really hope everyone knows that he was an awesome Dad, great husband, son, brother, friend, and police officer. They all have no idea how much he is missed, but I'm glad they still remember him." I can only answer "Yes we do."
The Photos used on this page were scanned from the yearbook. We did our best to enhance the quality, however if anyone has more suitable pictures or would like to offer some tribute to a friend, please contact us.